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Psychology (3,261)
PSYC 3800 (51)
Chapter 1

Education - Chapter 1 .docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3800
Jen Lasenby- Lessard

Chapter 1 Dramatic Diversity:  Students in Canadian classrooms are so widely diverse. Here are a few facts displaying the diversity in the classroom.  29-32% of the population will be members of visible minority groups.  Participation is religions other than Christianity has doubled since 2006.  Approximately 1 in 9 children in Canada lives in poverty.  Children’s families are diverse. Some are living with a mom and a dad, but others with two moms, two dads, grandparents, or other relatives.  This amount of diversity can present challenges to schools and communities, but it also presents lots of opportunity.  In the past, wealth and social status have been major factors in children’s success levels. Several studies have been done to prove that teachers do have an impact students lives. Teacher-Student Relationships:  According to researchers, “The association between the quality of early teacher-child relationships and later school performance can be both strong and persistent”. This was observed in a study that observed the same children all through elementary school.  A more recent study that observed children for 4 and a half years found that the degree of emotional warmth of the teacher-child interactions and the teacher’s degree of skill in recognizing and responding to children’s needs consistently predicted the child’s growth in reading and mathematics.  Based on these results, it appears that students who have significant behaviour problems in the early years are less likely to have problems later in school if their teachers are sensitive to their needs and provide frequent, consistent feedback.  Effective teachers who establish positive relationships with their students appear to be a powerful force in those students’ lives. Teacher Preparation and Quality:  Linda Darling-Hammond, a researcher at Stanford examined the ways in which teacher qualifications are related to student achievement.  Her findings indicated that the quality of teachers- as measured by whether the teachers were fully certified and earned a major in their teaching field- was related to student performance.  Measures of teacher preparation and certification were by far the strongest predictors of student achievement in reading and mathematics, both before and after controlling for student poverty and English language proficiency.  This is all evidence that more qualified teachers make a difference in student learning. What is good teaching? Different classroom situations are looked at: a) A multilingual grade 1 class: Half of the class has English as a second language. A teacher, with the help of an ESL teacher make modifications to the curriculum that enable students who speak English as a second language to participate in all the activities in the classroom. The teachers found that using visual materials was very useful. The teacher also made use of peer tutors whenever this was possible, and offered one-on-one instruction to students who needed it. o The teacher also encourages students and their parents to continue talking, reading, and writing in their first language at home. As well, she fosters an appreciation for diverse languages and cultures in her classroom by celebrating multicultural holidays and by having students compare and contrast their home or community experiences and practices during classroom discussions and sharing times. b) A suburban Grade 6 class: Students in the class have varying racial, ethnic, family income, and language backgrounds. The teacher is emphasizing “process writing”. The students create a first draft, revise, edit and publish their work. These students keep daily personal journals and they use them to communicate with their teacher. They tell their teacher about problems at home, fights and fears, and he always takes the time to respond to them in writing. This teacher is very interested in the social and emotional development of his students. c) An Advanced Math Class: When the teachers class was confused about a lesson on integrals, he did a review class. He asked the class for general statements about useful strategies for doing integrals. He clarified their suggestions, elaborated on some, and helped students improve others. He wrote the key points on the board and by the end of the period the
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